Oasis Cardiff started in a small church room with 3 volunteers our founder (Reynette Roberts MBE) and 2 Iranian asylum seekers in 2008. We were open just 3 days a week serving tea and coffee with roughly 30 visitors a day.

As the number of visitors we received grew we began to develop on what we could offer, we started by serving soup for lunch, we then introduced regular singing groups, and eventually, we would occasionally take day trips.  

As we grew we needed a larger space. Our second home was the YMCA Sports Hall where we began running English classes, received visits from the community police, began art classes and organised a FAN Group.

The YMCA Sports Hall was also where we had our first birthday party, we celebrated by making soup for all which was served on 2 trolleys as we had no fridge and stored everything in a cupboard.  

After our first year, we ran The Refugee House Project with The National Museum of Wales at the YMCA, ran some theatre workshops and started offering free weekly bike maintenance which is still going strong once a week at our centre, thanks to one of our extremely knowledgable and dedicated volunteers. 

  

After a couple of years, we moved to Tavs Centre which was smaller than the YMCA Sports Hall but we had a fully functioning kitchen. At this point free lunch was beginning to become one of the key services we offered, so having a kitchen was a high priority. We stayed at Tavs for 2 years and throughout these two years we developed women's and men's only activities, started our first employability project and worked with more museums and theatres in Cardiff. While at Tavs we ran our first big event for Refugee Week which was a flash mob in the centre.  

And as many of you will know we now have our own space on Splott Road, which is now one of the biggest refugee and asylum seeker support centres in the UK. We have been here for 6 years now and we are still continuing to grow. Our building has been renovated and improved upon over the years with our most recent and most exciting renovation being our kitchen. When we first moved to Splott Road our kitchen was just one small room, this room has now ben expanded over into 3 rooms which has opened many doors in terms of what we can offer our clients, whether it's free food, cookery classes or volunteering opportunities. 



A range of activities, support and classes now take up every single corner of our building, we receive over 150 visitors per day, we have an amazing and diverse team of staff and volunteers who all bring something special to our busy and vibrant centre. We have indeed come very far from just tea and coffee in a small church room, and as long as our support is needed, we will continue to grow.